Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Spot That Fake Chanel!

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Piecework Magazine had a great article this month by Claire Shaeffer about the "detective" process she goes through to decide if an unlabeled Chanel-style suit is the real thing or just a close copy.

I used to subscribe to Piecework, and liked it very much. It is aimed more at the history and curation of textiles of all kinds than at the creation of pieces today. They have wonderful instructions and tutorials for recreating some of the techniques or items that they show. Not really recreating of course, but just enough to give you a taste of the technique, and enough information to send you on your way towards learning and doing more, if you are so moved. The photos are wonderful, and their range is very wide. I finally quit subscribing, but I still look at it on the news stand now and then, and the other day I was stunned to find this wonderful article in the latest issue (Nov/Dec07) without even a hint of it on the cover!

If you're interested in the inner workings of Chanel garments, this is invaluable information. It's not exhaustive, but so much has been written already, much of it by Claire Shaeffer herself, that we should be able to find the 'basics' in other places. This is just a little icing on the cake.

One of the things that caught my eye was the use of one of the blouse fabrics (this couture suit came with 2 blouses) to embellish the lining, and also the fact that it had pocket flaps with no pockets. Unusual, apparently, but not unheard of, and the kind of thing I myself would do, since I'd know I would never put anything in one of the patch pockets on the front of the jacket, and it would simply add bulk. Since it is apparently unusual, I'm sure it was the client's idea.

The other very interesting thing was the telltale topstitching on the edge of the jacket, but not on the lining. Very tricky.


Lisa Laree said...

Ooo, thanks for the heads up, Liana! I think I've seen this magazine at the local Barnes and Nobles in the past...I'll have to hunt it when I'm in Christmas shopping in the next week or so. I always enjoy Claire Shaeffer's discussions of Chanel!

Carolyn (Diary of a Sewing Fanatic) said...

Now I have to head back to the newsstand to find "another" magazine! *LOL* This one sounds fantastic...thanks for the heads up!

Theresa said...

This does not help my magazine addiction in the slightest. There is no better luxuary than a soft comfy pair of pants for lounging around in.

Anonymous said...

I've seen pocket flaps without pockets, usually on cheaper-end ready to wear, and 'Easy' sewing patterns. I'm not a fan of the non-functional (neither was Chanel) - which makes me wonder, what did Claire decide?

Liana said...

/anne, She decided it was a genuine Chanel. The only thing I can say is that one of the perks of buying couture is that they will do it however YOU want it. They may try to talk you into something they think is better, but in the end, you can have what you want. I know real pockets in those positions would be horrid on me, but I might get away with the flaps only. Maybe it was a situation like that? Who knows, but isn't it interesting that no two are ever exactly alike.